This scripture tells the story of Jesus’ conversion to his own ethic of love. Through his encounter with this Gentile woman, Jesus grows in awareness of the far-reaching nature of God’s love.
Initially, we witness Jesus discriminating against this woman on the basis of gender and race. He intends to dismiss her, proclaiming that his message is limited to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” She is an outsider, undeserving of God’s love and grace. How puzzling to see Jesus’ actions resembling those of the Pharisees!
But Matthew invites us to use this encounter to examine the hidden chambers of our own hearts. Do we treat others who are different from us as inferior, believing them to be less worthy of God’s love? Do we feel superior to others because we have more money and status, a different ethnicity or race, a certain gender or sexual orientation, a specific denomination or religion? If so, we have cut ourselves off from the Jesus community, just as Jesus initially cut himself off from relationship with the Canaanite woman.
Jesus believes he came to convert the misdirected house of Israel and, yet, this encounter reflects his own misperception and misdirection. Through the Canaanite woman’s wit and persistence, Jesus comes to understand that his message of God’s saving love is meant for everyone! God intends to leave no one out—no one. Furthermore, Jesus does not try to change the woman before he responds to her. He requires no conversion. He accepts her as she is and acknowledges her great faith. The work of Christians is to love others, not to change them.

Lord Jesus, you love us abundantly, without limit or condition. Help us to love as you love. Convert us to your ethic of reconciling love that the world may live in unity and peace. Amen.

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Leer Matthew 15:10-28

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Leccionario Semanal
August 14–20, 2017
Resumen de la Escritura

Genesis 45 portrays Joseph in a moment of triumph. The trials of the past are over, and his trembling brothers are now in his power. Joseph acknowledges God’s hand in the events of his life and is reconciled to those who attempted to do him harm. Psalm 133 is a brief but exuberant song to the spirit of unity and fellowship that can exist among the members of the family of God. Paul delivers a resounding “no” to the idea that God has rejected Israel. God’s election is irrevocable. The story of Jesus and the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15 illustrates the wide umbrella of God’s mercy. The woman’s faith and persistence serve in a curious way to minister to Jesus. As she becomes a means of God’s grace to Jesus, he extends God’s mercy to her.

Preguntas para la reflexión

• Read Genesis 45:1-15. What relationship in your life needs reconciliation? How will you help bring it about?
• Read Psalm 133. How healthy is your church family? Is there need for greater unity among the members?
• Read Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32. What wounds in your life have brought you a greater understanding of God’s mercy?
• Read Matthew 15:10-28. The writer says, “The work of Christians is to love others, not to change them.” Is this difficult for you?

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